Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Unexpected Christmas

Christmas comes to everyone, everywhere, I suppose. Although, it´s hard for me to believe as I think about the things that have always framed my Christmases: family, cold air, snow, the smell of pine needles warmed by Christmas lights, piles of presents under the tree, the white-lit angels swinging from above on College Avenue, colorful cookies, long-distance phone calls, Christmas cards, blueberry muffins, Claymation Holiday specials on TV, clear starry nights.

For the first time in 25 years, I
am not celebrating Christmas surrounded by my entire family, I am not going to shiver in the car on the way to the Christmas pageant, I am not going to have coffee beside a lit Christmas tree with carols playing on the stereo or look out onto an empty, still street and imagine everyone else like me, tucked into their decorated houses, having Christmas.

Part of me wants to mentally skip Christmas this year. How can it be Christmas here, away from the snow, my family, my friends who live in far-away places who will be home and drinking Blue Moons with thick orange slices at Jim´s on Christmas night? How can it be Christmas when I don´t know any of the Christmas carols or traditions?

The truth of it is, I know it is Christmas. I know that Christmas comes to Honduras. I know that Christmas isn´t about snow on the ground or stockings hung on the fireplace. I know the Christmas story didn´t take place in a sleepy, icy Wisconsin town. But can I believe it?

Christmas does come everywhere, but we all see Christmas in our own ways, framed by our families, our climates, our songs, our traditions, our joys and sadnesses. In my rather self-absorbed pondering, I realized I am forgetting one thing . . . the unexpected.

The Christmas story is full of the unexpected: trusting to find shelter, following stars, giving presents to people you haven´t met, leaving your flocks in the fields. This year, may I--and you and all of us-- celebrate the unexpected!

I don´t know how Christmas will happen to me this year or to you, but I send my wishes for a very happy and meaningful one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amelia and Hannah,
it was great having you home at Thanksgiving, nice to see your smiling faces.
We should all be so blessed to experience all that you are.
Living on the edge is so much more exciting and challenging than complacency.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! You make a great point! It's so true. Thanks for reminding us about what christmas really is about!

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an AMAZING letter! I was very touched!

9:54 PM  
Blogger la peliroja said...

ten years later and i can almost taste the christmas tamales at the ranch... thanks for writing this blog. thanks for being my sister. i'm excited to spend this christmas with you, the cold and our new family additions. cheers to the unexpected.

9:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Click here to support Amelia's volunteer work